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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A devastating EF3 tornado tore through Virginia Beach, leaving dozens questioning if their insurance really covers the damages.
13News Now spoke to one insurance expert who said it depends on homeowner’s policies, but most should cover the expenses.
“Wind damage is almost always covered by insurance, whereas flood is not,” said Drew Monroe, CEO of Prosper Insurance. “It’s important to know what your insurance looks like.”
For those who have insurance and were impacted, Monroe said they should file a claim as soon as possible. However, the process might be even harder than usual to get an answer for how much damage could cost.
“Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there is a higher demand, there’s a lot of damage and it takes insurance companies longer to wrap up. But these days, depending on how many simultaneously are reaching out/building their house, it can take a year or more,” said Monroe.
Homeowners like Ray Payne say they expect to go through the insurance process for a long time.
Payne has moderate damage on his Victorian home in Virginia Beach, including 17 shattered windows and roof damage.
However, he still considers himself lucky in comparison to his neighbors.
“Their houses are all condemned,” said Payne. “The walls are falling in, it’s all roped off, and no one can get in because of all the damage.”
Monroe said his company alone is helping at least five families impacted by the tornado. Two of the houses are considered total losses, meaning they will have to rebuild.
He said the best advice he can give families who are struggling with the insurance process is to take pictures of all the damages before they are cleared away, make an inventory of all items lost, and keep every receipt because possible reimbursement might surprise you.
“If you have to go out to eat because your kitchen is destroyed, most policies will pay for that or pay for the difference, anything you spend as a result of the claim. Save those receipts because it’s going to make your process easier.”
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